The same, but different

Over the past few months, I’ve written a series of blogs exploring the similarities within the various logistics-related disciplines. And it seems that even when people are working at different companies and in different sectors they are faced with the same challenges.In the case of transport managers, for example, irrespective of whether they are working in the manufacturing, chemicals or agricultural industry, many of the challenges they face are almost identical. It’s about time pressure, the unpredictability of fluctuating transport volumes, tight budgets and carbon reduction targets, and disruptive events beyond control such as the corona virus, to name but a few. Since the summer, my blogs have outlined how IDS eases the burden for transport managers as well as supply chain managers, finance managers, IT managers and customer service managers within a wide range of different businesses.

Handling hazards for chemical companies

But although the challenges for each discipline are largely the same, each industry faces its own unique challenges too. Therefore, it’s not as easy as taking a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach per discipline. If only it were! Let’s consider the chemical industry, for instance. Chemical companies often have to ship hazardous substances which require special handling to ensure safety. Therefore, it’s essential that they have access to experienced and reliable carriers. Carriers who have the necessary ADR certifications for the transport of dangerous goods in combination with specific equipment for temperature controlled transport and routing restrictions. Managed transport solutions can help them to deal with the extra complexity of their carrier management activities.

Boosting OTIF for manufacturing companies

In contrast, time pressure often causes the biggest headache for industrial companies, such as suppliers to the automotive sector. Whether because of just-in-time manufacturing, tight delivery windows or the importance of having the right spare parts available at the right time to minimize machine downtime, the focus is on on-time in-full (OTIF) deliveries. Therefore, such companies benefit from a single source of real-time insight into the status of their shipments. That includes automatic alerts in the case of potential problems so that they can find a solution, quickly. Moreover, detailed reporting helps them to identify areas for further performance optimization.

Supporting safety for food companies

And then there’s the food sector. That often requires freight forwarders and carriers with the right facilities such as temperature-controlled trucks and refrigerated warehouses. Only they can handle the transport and storage of fresh, chilled and frozen products. To comply with food safety regulations, it is essential to ensure that the products are kept within the required temperature parameters at all times. That creates the need for a system offering excellent supply chain visibility and track & trace reporting.

Respecting the differences

That’s why, at IDS, we regard all our customers as being the same, but different. We look for common denominators so that we can transfer proven successful approaches from one industry to another. That way, we can share our knowledge and experience and help companies to learn from one another, creating benefits for all. Our transport managementsystem (TMS) enables all types of companies to manage complex carrier networks. It monitors performance and discovers new insights as the basis for improved delivery reliability, greater cost savings and further efficiency measures. But at the same time, we also respect the differences that create unique needs in each sector. We work closely with each of our customers to find the optimal, sector-specific solution for them every time.

I’ve been delighted to hear that so many people in various roles have read and enjoyed my insights over the past few months. If you’d like to discuss any topics in more detail, feel free to contact me. And you never know, you might even inspire me to write another blog in the future!